In an affront to children’s programming everywhere, neo-Nazis in Germany have been using Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster as a tool to recruit kids.
“After months of investigation, we were able to arrest a well-known right-wing extremist dressed in a Cookie Monster costume, while he and an accomplice were handing out leaflets that read ‘To Be German is Cool’ at a local school in Senftenberg,” Ines Filhon, a police spokeswoman in the eastern German state of Brandenburg, said according to NBC News.
While the culprits stopped short of handing out cookies with their propaganda, police reportedly found a wealth of other neo-Nazi materials when they searched their houses and confiscated their computers.
According to the British Daily Mail, this picture showing Cookie Monster, whose blue color is conspicuously absent, at a table with Adolf Hitler and other Nazis with the caption underneath reading “Who stole my biscuit?” was among the racist material found on their computers.
Filhon added that police are investigating whether the two suspects apprehended in this incident are connected to 20 other neo-Nazi incidents involving Cookie Monster.
Other Sesame Street characters have been used to spread hateful messages in the past, including a racist Elmo apprehended in central Park in 2012.
The Cookie Monster-Nazi phenomenon came as far-right political groups made a number of political gains throughout Europe, most notably in Hungary and France over the past two weeks.